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Metro: New Fees Not Changing Ridership Habits

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Metro report says riders aren’t happy with the transit agency’s “peak-of-the-peak” fares, but the extra 20-cent fee isn’t changing their behavior.

The fee increases were put into place last year to help Metro fill more than $100 million of a budget gap. Metro says only about 3 percent of trips have moved from the busiest parts of the morning and evening commutes. Ridership continues to fall below projections on both rail and bus.

The report, which will be presented to board members on Thursday, says riders have switched to SmarTrip cards to avoid fees. Use of the plastic farecards has jumped from 76 percent to 79 percent of rail trips and from 64 percent to 76 percent on buses.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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